Having overcome a pre-season groin injury, Tristan Xerri is hoping to put his hand up for AFL selection in the coming weeks.
“I had a bit of a groin injury earlier on during pre-season. The past weekend’s game was my third game back,” Xerri told North Media.
With a return to full fitness imminent, he is targeting a strong body of work at VFL level to catch the eye of David Noble.
“I’ve gained a lot of confidence from those last three weeks, and I feel like I am improving week after week, so I’m really hoping to crack into the AFL side soon.”
With the VFL returning in 2021, North’s participation in the competition is a welcome opportunity for players fighting for a spot in the AFL side according to Xerri.
“VFL is very important for us. We lost that last year, if we weren’t playing AFL [last season] we didn’t have any other options,” he said.
“This year it’s been really great that if you aren’t playing or coming back from injury – you have access to resources in the VFL.”
At 201cm tall, Xerri has the ability to dominate in the ruck, but can also push forward to provide a strong marking target.
Still just 22 years old, Xerri has impressed fans with his forward pressure, while also impacting the scoreboard with three goals in his four AFL games to date.
Despite his obvious potential, he is mindful of where his improvement needs to lie as his career progresses.
“I need to keep working on my defensive mindset. As we know, if you can’t defend you won’t play,” Xerri says.
“My forward pressure is an aspect of my game I pride myself on. My contested marks and creating contests are parts that I need to keep working on.”